Terry Anderson or Arsenal and Norwich: a tragic story

By Tony Attwood

I have recently kindly been supplied with this picture of Terry, to supplement the story below.


Terry Anderson is not a name that springs to mind when we speak of Arsenal.  But he it there in the annals of the club – signing professional forms for Arsenal in 1961.

He was a player for the England youth team and so obviously a young man of exceptional skill, and he played for the first time for Arsenal on March 2, 1963 against West Ham in a 4-0 win (Baker got 2, McCollough and Strong scored).  It was one of five appearances Terry made that season – scoring one goal away to Sheffield United

This was during the Billy Wright years – those years of The Darkness when we went year after year winning nothing, and not even getting to a final.

Looking at the records I did actually see Terry Anderson play, although I confess I don’t recall the game at all – I just know I was at it, since in those days I didn’t get to that many games (being a student in Brighton at the time).  But what made me think of him was a review I have just written of a game in the 1972/3 season, by which time he was playing for Norwich.  In the Norwich v Arsenal league game at Carrow Road on Sept 23 1973 he scored twice helping Norwich to a 3-2 win and putting a dent in our championship ambitions.  We came 2nd that season.

(The review will appear in a forthcoming book: Arsenal in the 70s.  The book includes a review of every first team game from 1970/1 to 1979/80.  More on the book as we approach publication date).

But back to Terry Anderson.   He was a winger, and it was an era of wingers at the club – most notably the long serving George Armstrong, and the emerging Alan Skirton, he was always a reserve player waiting for a chance.  Overall he played 26 games and scored 7 goals for Arsenal and joined Norwich City in February 1965 having made 10 appearances and scored two goals for Arsenal that season.

He had more success at Norwich and stayed there nine years, being a central part of the side that won promotion to the first division for the first time ever in 1972.  They also reached the final of the League Cup in 1973, knocking out Arsenal en route.

But after leaving Norwich, things don’t seem to have worked out so well, as Terry played for Colchester for 20 games across two spells, 36 times for Baltimore Comets in two separate spells, 10 times for Scunthorpe, and four times for Crewe – and all that in 1974-6.

Then the tragedy.  Terry was seemingly on a training run in Great Yarmouth on 24 January 1980, four years after playing his final game, and never returned.  His body was found a week later – he had drowned.

As I say, Terry Anderson is not a name that many at Arsenal will ever recall – although I expect his name at Norwich will mean a lot more.  I don’t even have any records of what happened to him during the last few years of his life, and this seems to make the story even sadder.

His picture however does appear on the Arsenal Wall, and his name is remembered as are the names of everyone who played for the club.


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31 Replies to “Terry Anderson or Arsenal and Norwich: a tragic story”

  1. I don’t recall the lad but if his name is on the Arsenal Wall, that’s good enough for me.
    He’s now in a better place.

  2. Terry was one of Arsenal’s first apprentices. He joined the Arsenal groundstaff at the age of 15 in 1959. The following year the football apprenticeship scheme was inaugurated and Terry was offered an apprenticeship which he accepted. Amongst his fellow apprentices were David Court, Gordon Ferry and Rodney Smithson who all went on to play for the first team.

  3. I remember him a bit. He wasn’t a great player, but was alright and probably lost his Highbury career to Armstrong. Shame about the way he died.

  4. Just a quick add on really…Im Terrys’daughter…
    After leaving football -he was involved in charity work in the area,he ran a pub for a while wth his wife Cheryl and me toddling around…Him and my mum were about to open the small hotel they had bought in Yarmouth -he went training on the beach…wth a middle ear infection ..toppled and we found him a week later . He was an extremely good sport..hilariously funny and much loved .

  5. I was at school with Terry in Holloway and
    played together for three years. I followed his
    career very closely and last met him in his house
    in Norwich. The next visit I learned of his death
    and I met Cheryl in Yarmouth.
    I have photos and stories of those school days
    if Beth you are interested

  6. Please forward me a relevant email address as
    I’ve located a few old photos of Terry.

  7. Tony Bernie – I have just got back from a trip to Australia, and will be checking on my emails on monday. Sorry, just trying to adjust to life the right way up at the moment.

  8. Hello
    So sorry I’ve only just got back -my daughter spotted your replies and let me know (11 and a lot more technical ally savvy than me ).
    Tony Bernie can’t seem to read yr email address -but would love any pics and memories you have of my dad to share wth my children.
    Thanks ever so .

  9. I was nearly 10 and going to watch West Ham play Arsenal and my dad who I was taking me to the match had bought the Evening Standard and there was a picture of Terry on the back page. On the train to the match there was Terry sitting almost opposite…I got him to sign the photo and still have it somewhere! Can you imagine todays prima donnas travelling to a game like that?

  10. Hi just thinking back to school days in Holloway and remembered Terry Anderson and wondered what happened to him. I remember watching him play at Highbury and also remember Tony Bernie from school as well, what a sad ending for such a nice lad.

  11. Not really related to the game but my mum took me on holiday to Great Yarmouth and we stayed at the Maryland, which was run by Cheryl along with Beth! If I recall, your nan lived in my hometown. Not sure if you will remember me Beth? Hope you’re keeping well!

  12. Okay Tomy I will take a photo of the photos. I knew Terry and his brother when his family moved to Chesterfield. I believe the photos were taken somewhere in Europe. The pictures were before the moustache anyway.

  13. I have found the photos so I will send them shortly. I was very shocked to hear the sad news of his death.

  14. He and his folks lived for a time in Bryett Road off Tollington Way, N7. I was a contemporary of his younger brother. I recall us all playing out in the street back in those days. He was a nice bloke and it was a great shame for him to lose his life so early.

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